Football: Alvaro Morata omitted from Spain World Cup squad

Chelsea striker Alvaro Morata was left out after a disappointing season in England. PHOTO: REUTERS

MADRID (AFP, REUTERS) - Chelsea striker Alvaro Morata was the big name missing from Spain's World Cup squad announced by manager Julen Lopetgui in Madrid on Monday (May 21).

Lopetegui named his 23-man squad on with a rich blend of youth and experience, as well as some high-profile absentees.

Morata was left out after a disappointing season in England, as was his team-mate Marcos Alonso, with Arsenal's Nacho Monreal picked as back-up for left-back Jordi Alba.

Lopetegui selected Atletico Madrid's Diego Costa, Celta Vigo's Iago Aspas and Valencia's Rodrigo Moreno as his three centre-forwards, all relatively untested.

Costa, who had a disappointing tournament in Brazil in 2014 as Spain were knocked out at the group stage, has scored seven goals in 18 internationals.

Versatile Barcelona midfielder Sergi Roberto was also omitted while veteran playmaker Andres Iniesta heads to his fourth World Cup along with captain Sergio Ramos.

Isco, Marco Asensio, Nacho Fernandez, Dani Carvajal and Lucas Vazquez are going to the tournament for the first time along with their Real Madrid team-mate Ramos.

Only four Barcelona players are in the Spain squad, down from seven Brazil four years ago.

The 2010 world champions face Switzerland on June 3 and Tunisia on June 9 in friendlies before their World Cup campaign begins against Portugal on June 15.

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